Ashraful to captain BCB XI in Duleep Trophy
Earlier this week, Mohammad Ashraful told Cricinfo that he didn't "want to think about captaincy for another five years at least". But Ashraful, 20, is going to have to address the issue rather sooner than that - he has been named as captain of the Bangladesh Cricket Board XI that is taking part in this season's Duleep Trophy tournament in India.
Ashraful has been put in charge of a squad which includes only two non-Test players - the left-arm spinner Abdur Razzaq (who has played in six ODIs) and the wicketkeeper Sahagir Hossain Pavel.
The selectors originally asked Naimur Rahman, the offspinner and former Test captain, to join the tour, but he declined, telling the Daily Star Sport: "I think I'm not mentally ready to play at this level at the moment. If I start now, I'll have to begin from zero. Having been out of international cricket for three years, I'm not looking forward to a return to the national side. Besides, I've recently started my own business so that has made it difficult for me to concentrate on cricket." Naimur, 30, who played the last of his eight Tests in December 2002, added that he was also suffering from a knee injury which needs further treatment.
The BCB XI's campaign in the tournament, whcih also includes the five Indian zonal teams, begins with a match against East Zone at Jaipur, starting on February 25. They then take on Central Zone at Jaipur (March 1). The six teams have been split into two groups, and the five-day final between the two group winners will be played at Indore later in March.
Bangladesh Cricket Board squad
Al Shahriar, Rajin Saleh, Nafees Iqbal, Aftab Ahmed, Mohammad Ashraful (capt), Alok Kapali, Manjural Islam Rana, Sahagir Hossain Pavel (wk), Abdur Razzak, Talha Jubair, Nazmul Hossain, Tareq Aziz, Anwar Munir.